The School of Life

One of the places in a Wall Street Journal story about places to visit in London caught my eye – The School of Life.

The School was co-founded in 2008 by Alain de Botton, a Swiss-born British author whose books discuss various contemporary subjects and themes, emphasizing philosophy’s relevance to everyday life. The School describes itself as a “global organisation dedicated to developing emotional intelligence. We apply psychology, philosophy, and culture to everyday life.”

Here is some more detail, from its web site

Headquartered in London, The School of Life operates around the globe, delivering our services down a number of channels to suit your different needs. We offer classes and therapies in person. We also publish books, write articles, create films and make and sell a range of objects & tools that will assist you in the quest for a more fulfilled life. We also offer brand consultancy services and learning and development workshops for businesses.

The School of Life is a place to step back and think intelligently about central emotional concerns. You will never be cornered by dogma, but we will direct you towards a variety of ideas that will exercise, stimulate and expand your mind. You will meet other curious, sociable and open-minded people in an atmosphere of exploration and enjoyment.

We address such issues as how to find fulfilling work, how to master the art of relationships, how to understand one’s past, how to achieve calm and how better to understand, and where necessary change, the world. We are seeking more emotionally intelligent kinds of:

  • Relationships
  • Work
  • Leisure
  • Culture

Here’s a video overview of the School:

I looked at the course offerings that are available during our upcoming visit, and some of them look quite interesting:

  • How to be Sociable (I should look into that one)
  • How to Enjoy Life
  • How to Be Serene
  • How to Be Confident
  • How to Fail (I could be the featured speaker at this one…)
  • How to Develop Self-Knowledge
  • Communication
  • Improving Your Emotional Intelligence

While I am not sure if I’ll take one of these courses, I do plan to visit the School’s store, since I am sure it has some unique items, including some thought-provoking books.

We are getting excited about our upcoming trip, and looking forward to exploring the city of London and all its many treasures, such as the School of Life.

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Jim Borden

Accounting Prof. at Villanova; happily married for 30+ years; father of 3 outstanding young men; vegan; interests: fitness, creativity, education, blogging, social media.

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